Beyond Bedding and Mini-Fridges: 12 Dorm Furnishings You May Not Have Thought Of

There is no shortage of lists of dorm-room essentials. Almost every store or website will offer you a myriad of suggestions.  And the list can get longer and longer as the summer progresses. Packing the car for move-in day can be one of the biggest challenges your family will face.

Rather than add to the already steady supply of suggestions for bedding, laundry hampers, storage solutions, and shower caddies, we thought we’d include a list of a few things you may not have thought of but that can be great additions to your student’s dorm furnishings. You won’t want them all, but adding one or two of these items to your list could be just the thing to make life easier for your student.

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10 Non-Essentials (But Fun) for Your Student’s Dorm Room

As your student gets ready to head off to college in the fall, there’s a lot to do. One of the things on your mind may be helping your student prepare for living in the dorm.  This is a big shift for most students, who have never shared a room with someone.  And this shared dorm room is now going to be their bedroom, living room, rec room, and part-time kitchen as well.

As parents, there are many ways we can help our student prepare over the summer by having some conversations to help them anticipate what they may encounter, but we often jump into helping them think about their dorm room – possibly because it is one of the few concrete, measurable things we can do. And we want to make sure they’ll be comfortable and provisioned.

There is no shortage of lists of dorm-room essentials. Almost every store or website will offer you a myriad of suggestions.  And the list can get longer and longer as the summer progresses. Packing the car for move-in day can be one of the biggest challenges your family will face.

So rather than add to the already steady supply of suggestions for the essentials, we’d like to suggest ten items that your student doesn’t “need” but that could be fun additions to liven up their dorm room.  You won’t want them all, but adding one or two to your summer shopping list might be fun. Some are mildly practical and some are just plain silly.  See what you think.

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Book Review – How to College

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  Visit our Resources page for a list of important books for college parents and their students.

If your student is heading to college in the near future, you need to get this book into their hands. How to College: What to Know Before You Go (and When You’re There) by Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Hope Schwartz will help your student make the transition to college and be ready to succeed once they are there. We like to think that we’ve done all we can to prepare our students for college, but once you read this book you realize how much more they should know.

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Review – Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions by Jeffrey Selingo

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

Jeffrey Selingo’s book, Who Gets In and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions is an important book for both students and parents. It is a perspective altering book that will help families understand how the admissions process works – especially at more selective schools. If you have a high school student who is thinking of applying to college, there is no excuse not to read this book.

Jeffrey Selingo spent a year inside the admissions process.  He interviewed students who were applying to college, he interviewed high school counselors who were preparing students to apply, he interviewed college admissions personnel, and then he sat in the room while decisions were being made and watched how to process played out.  When you read Who Gets In and Why, you are there – with someone alongside you who can explain what is happening and how we got to this place.

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#041 – More Summer Reads for Parents . . . Two Authors, Four Books

In this episode, Vicki and Lynn again share some of their favorite books for college parents. This time, we focus on Jessica Lahey and Julie Lythcott-Haims who have each written two books that are essential reading for parents. Whether your child is younger, or you have someone heading to college, you’ll find information, inspiration and support. After you listen to this episode, you’ll want to find a copy of The Gift of Failure, The Addiction Inoculation, How to Raise an Adult, and Your Turn:  How to Be an Adult. Happy reading!

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Book Review – The Addiction Inoculation

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

If you have children, you need to read The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence by Jessica Lahey. It doesn’t matter whether your children are in pre-school or college (or older), this book has the information that you need to arm yourself and to be able to talk to your kids about a subject that causes so many parents worry.

The Addiction Inoculation is part memoir and part deeply researched information about the history, chemistry, biology, and popular attitudes toward alcohol and drugs. Jessica Lahey has been there – as both an alcoholic herself and as a parent worried about how her sons will deal with the substances available to kids in today’s world.

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Book Review – Smarter Than You Think

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. See the Recommended Reading section of our Resources page for more suggestions.

Smarter That You Think: Accessing Your Personal Powers to Triumph in College by Susan Liff is written for students, but it addresses a question that many faculty members and parents alike often ask themselves – “How can a student with such strong test scores, GPA, and obvious intellectual abilities flounder so much in college?”

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‘Tis the Season: Time to Think About Holiday Gifts for Your College Student

The holiday season is definitely going to look different this year. We may travel less – and we may not be gathering with as many family members and friends as usual. But most of us are still thinking about gifts. It’s one part of the holiday season that doesn’t have to change.

If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts. There’s so much to choose from!

You know your student best, and can tap into interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination. We have fifteen new suggestions for 2020 to add to our earlier suggestions.  Don’t stop with this post! Check out our Resources tab for nearly 100 additional suggestions!  We guarantee you’ll find something for everyone there!

Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!  If you have additional suggestions, share them in the comments! Let’s make this a community project!

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Book Review – The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook is the reference book you want to send with your student to college, and it is one which they will use often. Author Dr. Jill Grimes moves from head (hangovers and headaches) through the brain (anxiety and alcohol poisoning) on to eyes, ears, neck and on to chest, stomach (food poisoning, and constipation) to back, extremities, and skin (burns, bites, stings and tattoos). In other words, this is a head-to-toe compilation of the questions that students will face about their health and potential injuries.

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook is not only a helpful resource, it is approachable rather than overwhelming, and written in a way that students will read it. Most items begin with a “what if” that describes the problem, followed by “what most likely happened” and then a clear explanation in “what’s going on?” Only then is there a description of potential “treatment” and a suggestion of “when to head to your doctor.” Finally, a “worst case scenario” and tips for preventing the problem.

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Book Review: From High School to College: Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

I work with first-year college students who have Learning Differences and ADHD at a small four-year liberal arts college. Every year I meet families and students making this transition who do not have a clear understanding on the differences in disability services and accommodations between secondary and postsecondary levels.

If you are the parent of a student with Learning Differences and you only have time to read one book about the shift from high school to college, please choose this bookFrom High School to College: Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities, by Elizabeth C. Hamblet. It covers the essential topics both you and your student need to know with clear insight, common sense, and wisdom.

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